Nickname for baseball manager Terry Francona / WED 12-28-16 / Playfully obtuse, maybe / Guideline for freelancer for short / There might be spat about this
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
- ELIJAH WOOD (17A: Player of Frodo in "The Lord of the Rings")
- STUDS TERKEL (25A: "The Good War" Pulitzer Prize winner)
- BRAD STEVENS (47A: Boston Celtics coach beginning in 2013)
- MIKE HAMMER (58A: Detective whose first book was "I, the Jury")
Boston Celtics of the NBA. He was previously the head coach at Butler University in Indianapolis. A former basketball player, he grew up in Zionsville, Indiana, where he starred on the Zionsville Community High School basketball team, setting four school records. After high school, he attended DePauw University, where he played basketball and earned a degree in economics. He made the all-conference team multiple times and was a three-time Academic All-America nominee. // Stevens joined the Butler basketball program as a volunteer prior to the 2000–01 season after quitting his job at Eli Lilly and Company. He was promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position for the 2001–02 season. On April 4, 2007, he became the head coach after Todd Lickliter left to coach the Iowa Hawkeyes. In his first year, Stevens led Butler to 30 wins, becoming the third-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I history to have a 30-win season. // In 2010, his third year as head coach, Stevens broke the NCAA record for most wins in a coach's first three years, exceeding the previous record by eight. In the postseason, Stevens coached Butler to the first Final Four in school history. At 33 years old, Stevens became the second-youngest head coach to make a NCAA National Championship game, losing 61–59 to Duke. Shortly after the season ended, he signed a contract extension with Butler through the 2011–12 season. With the 2010–11 team making the Final Four, Stevens became the youngest coach to go to two Final Fours. Stevens coached the Bulldogs in their second consecutive national championship game on April 4, 2011, where the team lost to the Huskies of the University of Connecticut. (wikipedia)
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BRAD STEVENS, I'm not surprised. STEVENS is probably the least well known of these names, at least where this crowd (i.e. you) are concerned. In today's general population, he's certainly more famous than STUDS TERKEL. Not sure how to compare his fame to that of MIKE HAMMER. HAMMER is an icon, but a bygone one; far far far far more important in his field than STEVENS is in his, but ... HAMMER doesn't get mentioned every day on ESPN these days, is what I'm saying.
The fill in this one made me laugh several times, because it seems so ... Quiglish. My favorite bit is "HOW R U?," which is the kind of answer you dial up when you are staring down a --W-U letter pattern and absolutely refuse to budge. If you were to swap out TERKEL and STEVENS, you'd have --W-A in that space, which seems at least moderately easier to fill (YOWZA?), but BEQ decided to just textspeak his way through that jam. "HOW R U?" I'm somewhere between skeptical and impressed, thanks for asking. I also liked VIKES and balked at the clue on SOO (33A: "Your point being ...?"), another "make the best of a bad situation" constructing moment. "[___ Canals]!? We don't need no stinking [___ Canals]!" (credit where credit is due: that ["Your point being ...?"] clue for SOO was (first?) used in the LAT two years ago—so it may not be completely original, but I like its colloquialism and anti-canality a lot).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
PS [There might be a spat about this] deserves applause for being the most vexing / cleverest clue in the puzzle
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